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tv   MSNBC News Live  MSNBC  January 17, 2011 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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hi, everybody, i'm thomas
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roberts filling in for contessa brewer who has the day off. the big story we're covering today, a new age of civility inside the beltway as congress gets back to business. >> before we are democrats or republicans, we are americans. >> reporter: in his weekend address president obama called on members of congress to tone down the meanness in the wake of the tragedy in tucson. >> this is a time with great challenges for us to solve. i believe we can do it worthy of those who sent us here to serve. >> the white house is taking the first step, inviting members from the house and senate both parties. democratic senator chuck schumer and republican senator tom coburn said they'll join several others who promise to break with tradition and sit together during the president's speech.
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>> that's symbolic, but maybe it just sets a tone and everything gets a little bit more civil. >> chuck and i have been able to work on multiple bills because we sit down one-on-one and work things out. >> the first test of the era of let's all get along comes on wednesday when the republican house votes on repealing the health care law. the associated press gfk poll shows americans are almost evenly split on the health care law but strong opposition has eased since november's election. meantime, the republican national committee has elected itself a new chair, replacing the controversial michael steel with a 38-year-old from wisconsin. the youngest gop party chair since lee atwater. >> my name is rines prebus. >> he want to save our country and in the process save our
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party. >> luke russert joins me now. let's get to first things first, the a.p. poll on health care and this is really showing the division on where the country falls on this. 41% oppose, 40% support. >> these are the arguments, perhaps not the language, as new tone of civility, we expect the comments to be measured in tone in the wake of what happened in arizona. but we expect both sides to ratchet up the -- democrats have been saying all long that the only way to tone down the deficits we have is to have a reliable health care system. republicans say the uncertainty of the health care law is putting people out of work. expect both parties to try and make this health care debate not
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only about the health and practice and wellness ideas but also an economic idea about why it's important to have systematic differences to the current system. that's what the focus is going to be on. it will not be on the death panels that we heard about back in march of 2010, the democrit' really going to be more economic than that. >> let's look at question number two from this ap poll, what should congress do with the health care law? 43% change it so it actually does more, 26% say repeal completely. 19% saying leave as is. and 20% saying change so it does less. how is congress supposed to take that in? >> it's interesting that you mention those numbers because they do show some seismic divisions. but this is the position that
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ultimately helped them reach the promised land by getting back the house of representatives. they saw this as a significant moment where a lot of americans were completely taken aback because they did not understand what was happening in the health care system. so republicans feel they have the higher ground. democrats feel they have the higher ground because they say, look, people are starting to get certain aspects of the health care law. a lot of kids can stay on their parents health care plan until they're 26 years of age. a lot of these reforms are taking place, and nancy pelosi came under a lot of trouble for it saying you'll like the bill once you know what's in it. a lot of folks are starting to see what's in it and ultimately that it will be beneficial to them. it's still an issue that a lot of folks don't understand completely. democrats are going to say it's for deficit reduction, republicans are going to say it
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needs to be eliminated because it will hurt jobs. it has no future of going forward in the senate or being signed by the president, but it will be a contentious issue here in washington. >> luke russert in washington, d.c. the newly elected chair of the republican national committee is already cleaning house, ron christy, a republican strategist and former assistant to vice president dick cheney, he's also founder and ceo of christy strategies. let's go over the new chair, rines prebus. let's go over some of these stats, he's the first republican to come in in 23 years. he's also dealing with a massive debt at the rnc which amounts to about 21.3 million. so what is your take on hiss new leadership role and what do you think of the guy?
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>> i think this is a brand-new start for the republican national committee. i have been a friend of michael steel for several years, but unfortunately, michael made it a lot about himself and a lot about his out reach and the basics. one it's mobilizing the base, it's getting people to register to vote. getting people to the polls to vote. he's got coming into the rnc saying where should this go, but he has a very good understanding of how do we raise the money, how do we get people out there to vote and how do i make this not about me. >> in a cost cutting move, the first thing he did was fire michael steele's convention planning staff. >> as he should have. >> what do you take of that move? because you think those people
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are going under some direction of steel and he needs to have full control of this so it's under his purview entirely? >> michael steel had rented a place in tampa, put one of his personal assistants there and she in turn hired her son and hired another relative at a place that was quite extravagant and i don't think in these very tough times as americans are really in a very tough economic time that we should have the rnc renting a luxury home for a personal aid. >> is this coming off the voyeur scandal in west hollywood? >> i like michael steele personally, but i don't think his talents were really suited to managing the republican national committee and i think we have someone who's a nuts and bolts guy, someone who understands that it's all about raising money and getting people out to vote and it's not about me or about my profile.
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>> on friday he's boasted his ties with the tea party, ron. so what do you think is his first, i guess, thing to do to bring them under the tent so they feel very welcome under his new leadership? >> some of my friends over at the rnc say he spent the last couple of days quietly reaching out to people, picking up the phone, introducing himself to people. i think it's going to be critical to the establishment folks in the rnc and the republicans at large. who am i, this is my vision and this is what i plan to do. and that will appeal not only to the tea party but to the republicans in general. >> ron, thank you so much and we'll see how he moves forward. reince priebus is his name. the panel now examining
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records and testimony to find out if edwards knew that campaign money was being used to cover up his extramarital affair and out of wedlock child. they also want to know if he did anything to break campaign finance laws. the case is centered mostly on whether those funds were political donations. edwards attorney says he doesn't believe his client broke any laws. arizona authorities say the trial for the alleged gunman in the tucson tragedy is not being moved to san diego. jared lee loughner was charged in federal court in arizona. "the washington post" cited federal law enforcement -- the department of justice in arizona tells nbc news the story is not true. meanwhile, doctors have upgraded congresswoman gabrielle giffords' condition from critical to serious. miguel, explain, what's the latest as this investigation
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moves forward? >> reporter: good afternoon. we now understand according to reports that the fbi may have their hands on surveillance cameras outside of the safeway where the shooting took place. that's the surveillance cameras right behind me. and for the last few days, we have seen a growing memorial for the victims who were killed in saturday's shooting that's now nine days ago. those surveillance cameras captured some pretty gruesome pictures. he says it clearly shows mr. loughner approach the congresswoman gabrielle giffords. he says it clearly shows him with a gun and him opening fire. that could be evidence that we could potentially see in the courtroom down the line, thomas. >> what are you hearing from the area, you talk to people and sources down there about the potential of this moving. we got conflicting reports that there was a potential this could move to san diego. that's where judy clark, the defense attorney for loughner
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resides. so what is the momentum for the fact that this case may be moved out of arizona? >> not much from the officials down here, the law enforcement sources who we have spoken to recently say they are simply focussed on gathering evidence and presenting it. they have said they would like for this trial to stay in arizona. you have to remember that so many of these victims will be called as witnesses. so thomas, certainly they would like to keep the venue here in as as. but that of course we'll see down the line from here. >> remains to be seen. miguel, thanks so much, appreciate it. severe storms are pounding the south at this hour, some counties in the south are under a tornado watch. people in the west are dealing with torrential rains and rising waters. backyards and houses across oregon and washington are inundated, creeks and rivers are flooding their banks. forecasters say the downpours
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could trigger more washouts coming up through tuesday. iran opens up about its secret and controversial nuclear program and gives a rare tour to nbc's richard engel. and why one city wants to ban new fast food restaurants. and here's a good reason why you need to pay attention to your surroundings while you're texting. [ female announcer ] applying lip balm over... [ record scratches ] ...and over [ record scratches ] probably isn't giving results you want. discover neosporin® lip health™.
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welcome back, everybody, detroit police launch a man hunt for a possible serial rapist. investigators are warning residents to be on alert after at least eight women were sexual assaulted in the city including a 17-year-old girl on her way home from school. police are also telling women don't go out alone at night.
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a suspect is arrested and charged with the murder of a new jersey police officer. investigators took 19-year-old jamelle crockham into custody. he's charged with the execution style murder of lakewood police officer christopher matlos. he died in his patrol car on friday after being shot three times at pointblank range. cops in southern california are calling it a shocking case of vigilante justice. he was the prime suspect in the 2001 disappearance of a woman named jeanine harms. the man who killed him, harm's brother, wayne sanchez. witnesses say sanchez walked into t. iran's nuclear program is one of the biggest foreign policy concerns for the united
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states. it will be the center of a new round of talks later this week in istanbul. foreign correspondent richard engel was allowed a rare look at one of its nuclear reactors. >> reporter: it's a rare look inside iran's controversial and secretive nuclear program. we're asked to wear lab coats and pocket sized radiation detectors, precautions because the reactor in tehran is on. we passed through two massive metal doors, slipped plastic covers over our shoes and finally entered the iran research reactor. the room is circular, about 100 feet in diameter. it's an old facility built by the united states before iran's 1979 islamic revolution. today a portrait of the founder
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ayatollah khomeini's portrait hanging on the wall. the cooling pool glows with an incandescent blue light. the radiation levels are normal. the facility appears clean and well maintained. it is very unusual for iran to allow anyone to tour its nuclear facilities let alone take television cameras inside. the people here seem uncomfortable that we're here, we haven't been able to talk to any scientists directly and we're not allowed to take pictures of their faces. the tehran reactor produces medical isotopes. >> on an issue which is completely and solely a humanitarian one and 850,000 patients are using the medications. >> reporter: he also discussed what he says are foreign attempts to sabotage iran's nuclear programs by corrupting
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it's computers and killing it's scientis scientists. >> translator: we want to show that the regime leads and somehow manages the assassination of these skin cysts. >> you believe it was the united states that was responsible for the cyber attacks? >> i'm not telling it as clear as this, but i have witnessed some documents and the proof that they have showed their satisfaction in that. >> reporter: international officials don't dispute that the nuclear reactor produces medical isotopes, but they're deeply concerned about how iran uses the fuel. it enriches the uranium for a higher concentration for this reactor, but it takes iran a step closer to being able to make a nuclear weapon. iran insists it has nothing to hide an isn't making a bomb. the tehran reactor is monitored by international inspectors.
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>> that was nbc's richard engel reporting from iran for us. u.s. troops are sacrificing their lives to serve and protect this country but they're also being overcharged by one of the nation's biggest banks. plus swiss bank accounts were supposed to be secret. that was before wikileaks. we're about to find out who's stashing money. a lot of people are reading a "new york times" article about what governors are doing to try and fix their state's budget short falls. most new governors are talking about slashing spending, shrinking government. what they're not talking about tax increases. two video games fuel mental health problems. according to a new study, nearly one in ten school kids in singapore were considered addicts. their depression, anxiety and social phobias got worse.
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the new york jets beat the pats on their home turf 28-21. next stop for the jets, pittsburgh, they face the steelers next week for the afc championship game. time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. lori had an ah-ha movement when a friend lost her cell phone. she and husband henry invented a wireless leash. they applied for the 2010 consumer electronics award for innovation and were the hit of the convention. ingredients. that's how we created purina one with smartblend. nutritionally optimized with real salmon, wholesome grains, and essential antioxidants for strong muscles, vital energy,
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we have it for you, construction crews made fast work of the george brett bridge on saturday after closing the route to traffic and wiring it for explosives. they cleared the span and they brought it down. contractors hope to build a wider bridge by the end of march just before the first home game of the kansas city royals. and talk about a messy delivery. the missouri state highway patrol and several other departments got forced to do a little road side cleanup on sunday after a mail truck accidentally dumped its cargo on the highway. loose mail littered about five miles of interstate 45.
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and if this isn't a hard lesson in not to text while walking, i don't know what it is. apparently a woman thought she could do both at the same time while strolling around the mall. and she was wrong. she takes a header right into the fountain. and they've got two camera angles on it. notice how she sort of shrunk away. one of the nation'sbig -- biggest banks is now -- the possibility impact on the obesity rate. and bait until you hear about starbucks next big bang, it is a very big thing. with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth.
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hi, everybody, welcome back to msnbc. apple ceo steve jobs is taking a medical leave of absense so he
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can focus on his health. he was on medical leave in 2009 because of pancreatic cancer. sergeant shriver, husband of the late eunice kennedy shriver. he's reportedly listed in critical condition arnold schwarzenegger says he mised out on $200 million while he was governor of california but he says it was worth it. the first couple is marking m.l.k. day by volunteering. mr. and mrs. obama along with several other white house staffers, they're donating their time at a d.c. middle school. last year the obama's volunteered at a soup kitchen in honor of "today's" holiday. richard wolfe is at the white house. the president is calling on members of congress to tone down the rhetoric when they get back to work this week and some have pledged to heed the president's call. the first test really coming up
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on wednesday when the house votes on repealing the health care law, what are you expectations about all of this? >> reporter: i think everyone's expectations are fairly low because the rhetoric on health care has been higher than any other subject. health care may be a set back on the high tone the president set. but moving forward there is talk about members of congress sitting together in different parties for that state of the union speech so let's see how long it lasts. >> we have got senators like democratic chuck schumer and republican tom coburn saying they are going to blur the aisle a bit by sitting together. do you really think that's going to catch fire? >> it may be too late to stop it? who wants to be the bad character saying no to that kind of bipartisanship. and it's about the theater, when you have members of one party
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rising and falling at different points to raise their hands and cheer at certain points of those speech speeches, it can seem very much like politics is a game rather than dealing with what people want at a time of a struggling economy. >> the president of china is going to be coming to meet with president obama. he did answer some questions for "the wall street journal." i want to read one of the statements based on the need for cooperation between the u.s. and china. he says there is no denying that there are some differences and sensitive issues between us. beboth both stand to gain more from our -- >> that's the reaching out in the theater that really matters this week. whether it's the private dinner, an unusual private dinner that
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the chinese president and the american president are going to be having on his arrival or in fact the business discussions, the most important first thing that these two leaders are going to be doing together are with business leaders from both countries on wednesday. you know, there will be a lot of political focus on the security issues like north korea, like the military relationship, but it's business and the personal leadership that really counts. >> richard wolfe at the white house. richard, thanks so much. we move on to an msnbc exclusive about one of the nation's big estebanings. jpmorgan chase admits it -- it's improperly foreclosed on more than a dozen military families. nbc news senior investigative correspondent lisa myers joins me now live from d.c. this is a huge admission on the part of the bank. >> yes, thomas, it absolutely
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is. the bank is basically hoping that by being forthcoming at this point about what went wrong, that it will mitt tate what is without question a public relations nightmare. the bottom line here is that chase not only mistreated its customers, it appears to have repeatedly violated a law which is designed to protect members of the military and their families from financial stress while they're in harm's way. and all this might never have come to light, thomas, before a marine captain and his wife. >> we love you, honey. >> love you too. i miss you guys, a lot. >> reporter: these days julia rolls and marine captain jonathan rolls a pilot conducting missions in asia, talk mostly via skype. always part of the conversation, their two children, and their endless battle with chase. >> it's been a nightmare. it's been my living nightmare. >> reporter: their saga began in 2006 when rolls went on active
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duty. by law active duty troops generally get their mortgage interest rates lowered to 6% and they are protected from foreclosure. but chase took months to lower roll's rate, initially overcharging the family, they say by as much as $900 a month. then two years ago, they say chase began hitting them with collection calls which escalated. >> this is sandy with chase home finance. >> reporter: sometimes three a day, claiming they owed as much as $15,000. >> saturday, sundays, middle of the night, did not matter if it was a holiday. >> reporter: what were they threatening to do. >> take the house. report us to the credit agency. >> and how much money did you actually owe the bank? >> we didn't know them anything. >> reporter: you didn't miss a single payment? their records show that while they kept making payments on their 6% rate, the bank had wrongly charged them 9% and 10% and hounded them for money they
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did not owe. >> they don't have to worry about fighting the fight and keeping alive not whether their wives or children are going to be put out on the street. >> reporter: chase now tells nbc that rolls did everything right and the bank did a lot wrong and in reviewing other mortgages, chase found an even bigger problem, 4,000 troops may have been overcharged. and 14 families wrongly foreclosed on. chase told us, quote, while any customer mistake is regrettable, we feel particularly badly about the mistakes we made here. the bank says it's now volunteerly issuing $2 million refunds and it says most of the families improperly foreclosed on have gotten or will get their homes back. chase says it already refunded any overcharges to rolls. but the couple disputes that. and thomas, one update on this, we have a statement from the senior republican on the senate
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banking committee, senator richard shelby who says chase's conduct is, quote, inexcusable and he demands that the bank make this right without any further delays. >> that's a good thing to see chase trying to make these families whole after putting them through such hell. lisa myers for us in washington. the fast food debate is entering now territory in south los angeles. the city council had permanently banned new fast food restaurants from opening in the area. the ceo of the california restaurant association joins me now to talk about this. so explain why they would go ahead to ban new restaurants moving into the area? is it because the area is just already oversaturated with them? >> well, that's what they believed initially when they introduced the proposal. they started off under the assumption that there was more fast food restaurants in that part of l.a. than other parts of l.a., but we have since learned that per capita, there's less
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fast food restaurants in that part of l.a. that any other part of los angeles. so essentially you have a pretty serious public policy that's far reaching in its affect that was introduced based on a hunch that turned out to be wrong. >> the stats we have is that there are 1,000 fast food restaurants in south l.a. a 30 square mile area, is that the same research you're going off of? >> the research shows that there's 19 fast food restaurants per 100,000 people in south l.a. now if you look at west l.a., west l.a. has 29 fast food restaurants per 100,000 people. los angeles county as a whole has 30 fast food restaurants per 100,000 people. so south los angeles has a smaller concentration of fast food restaurants than other p t parts. >> so right now they're saying the obesity issue and 30% of the 750,000 residents concerned with this one south l.a. area they consider to be obese or are obese. so isn't is there -- isn't there
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something to be said for the fact that if they're getting their main meals are coming from fast food restaurants that may be providing them with this obesity issue? >> i guess we don't know if their main meals are coming from fast food restaurants, but this is an issue of calorie consumption and energy expenditure, that's what this whole debate is about. if you look at mississippi that is widely touted as a state that has the highest obesity rates. they've got the lowest concentration of fast fad restaurants. colorado is also credited as being one of the states that's most fit, but they have the highest concentration of fast food restaurants. so you have a public policy being developed based on a hunch. the problem is that you have a lot of other city councilmembers who are sitting here right now saying i want to be on national tv. they're looking at los angeles as if it's a leader in public policy. in this case they're not a
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leader, they're steering us down the wrong path here on a very serious public policy issue and it's not making a bit of a difference. >> do you think that there is some room for discussion though to continue the discussion about what needs to be done for certain health concerns that they may have for the area? >> sure. i mean as city councilmembers, they have concern over a lot of things, like public safety, they're not here to protect us from ourselves, they're here to prothe ekt us from outside issues. so to allow people to go to public parks and play, walk to and from school. there's a lot of things that can be done. south l.a., that same area they're focusing on fast food restaurants has double the amount of convenience stores in that area. so what are they going to do about that? they want more grocery stores. but have you been down the snack aisles of a grocery store lately?
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there's any number of high fat foods, are you going to ban that aisle too? i think they're focusing on the wrong areas, they're trying to ban things they think are causing obesity, but they're not addressing the systemic issue. >> good to see you. thanks so much. want to pass on some breaking news that we have concerning brett favre. according to various reports the star quarterback filed rimplt papers with the nfl. this is the third time that he's retired. we'll see if the third time is the charm. did you know there are at least 900 streets named after martin luther king? but first, move over vente,
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starbucks will now their trenta. it's going to cost an extra 50 cents, it will be served in 17 states starting tomorrow, february 1 in california, the rest of the country, you guys have to wait until may 3. ♪ ♪ [ chuckles ] ♪
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on joing rye -- ongoing riots going on in tunisia. the riots unfolded as tunisitun prime minister steps aside. searchers continue to find bodies buried in the mud in brazil, where heavy rains
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triggered landslides that killed 630 people. a notorious dictator has unexpectedly returned to haiti for the first time since he was overthrown in a violent 1986 coup. he's known for having used terror and oppression to rule the country of haiti. an upcoming document dump from wikileaks may -- along with a list of 2005 clients including many prominent celebrities and politicians. assange says he intends to give the documents his full attention. >> we will treat this information like all the other information we get, so, yes, i presume once we have looked at the data, assuming it's not
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anomalous, assuming it's like everything else we receive, it could be a revelation. >> michelle, is this a real turn, especially by assange by coming out so publicly when he hasn't even faced his legal troubles for a different matter? >> right. yeah, that is a completely different matter. i mean sometimes you just have to step back and be amazed at the boldness of this. especially when in this particular case, it's interesting because this former head of a swiss bank that had an office in the cayman islands, he didn't want to reveal the names. he's giving all of this information to julian assange, but he has so far refused to reveal any of the individuals and he himself is going to stand trial for allegedly stealing this information this week in switzerland. but assange says he himself once he reviews all of this, and it will take some time probably a couple of weeks, will release
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all of those names and all of the associated private information that goes along with it. you have two sides of the same coin here, he says he will release it. by the way, this same bank did go after him once before and they were able to get an injunction against his website that briefly shut it down but then it was lifted. it remains to be seen if other bank with sue him. he really criticized the banks for doing that to him, calling it a kind of economic censorship. >> always interesting with julian assange, that's for sure. here's a look at what's happening at the top of the hour. doctors will update the information on congresswoman giffords. also happening in tucson, there will be a public memorial for giffords' staffer gabe zimmerman. no other medicine, not even advil pm,
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today we're marking the anniversary of martin luther king's birthday. i'm joined by msnbc contribute for jeff johnson who's got an analysis of what's going on around the country. >> on this 25th year officially celebrating martin luther king's birth, i headed to baltimore to see if all of the streets named -- mlk boulevard contrary to popular and chris rock's belief is more than a joke. the president of the college grew up in the area that martin luther king jr. boulevard runs through. >> there are over 900 martin luther king boulevards across the country, the images and the communities that surround them vary from city to city.
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in baltimore, it's historically been the dividing line. >> the riots where martin luther king was killed, this plan was on the books prior to that. it was scheduled to be called the avenue. >> simmons think the avenue was changed to martin luther king to appease the black community. but since then it appears that few black businesses have been developed while the university of maryland expands to both sides of the street, physically and economically. >> one of the things we tried to do was to encourage the university of maryland to help create black businesses and do business with these businesses, i don't think any of that has occurred. >> and just because the line is blurred doesn't mean the area is living up to its name sake. >> i have a dream. >> what we see here is really
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the antithesis of what martin luther king wanted. you see a strateification with wealth on one side and pooverty on the other side of this boulevard. >> the man who owns this coffee shop says me may be further off after the dream. >> a businessman on that side of martin luther king? >> what wind of development and progress so you see right here in baltimore that makes that line less and less visible? >> letting the business owners and the people of baltimore and the people from other states see that you cannot only be on this side of the line but you can also venture to the other side of the line. we want them to feel that it's a welcoming side, each side, not just a barrier. >> and we talked to two
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researchers, dr. nathanberg and eric catsenberger. the income gap between blacks and whites long this corridor is smaller than other cities. so while mlk drive may not be perfect, it's a bit closer to king's dream than at first glance. >> because baltimore is my hometown, so i'm proud to see that story being done and also the feature that you did, i'm talking about the business members. since camden yards was built down there, also the ravens stadium, it really has drawn a lot more attention downtown and drawn more people in and more businesses and hopefully it will bring more in to come. >> i want to thank all of you for joining me, i'm thomas roberts. i'm going to see you right back here at 3:00 p.m. eastern, noon if you're out west. but coming up for you, andrea mitchell reports next, an update from the hospital and the conditions of the shooting victims in tucson.
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i'm meteorologist bill karins. you may need a small shovel in areas of wisconsin and michigan. new york and boston look cold today, atlanta some showers for you, chicago, a little bit of light snow in the forecast, areas out west are looking okay, phoenix warm, l.a. at 80. like this one. and this one. and oops, my bad. so, they give expedia ginormous discounts with these: unpublished rates. which means i get an even more rockin' hotel, for less. my brain didn't even break a sweat. where you book matters. expedia.
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right now on andrea mitchell reports, more progress in tucson. you're looking at live pictures from the briefing room at the hospital where we expect gabrielle giffords' doctors to give us the latest on her recovery. what we do know is all good. she's been upgraded from critical to serious condition. doctors have been able to remove the breathing tube and they will soon know if she's able to speak. lawmakers are back. will we be relieving last year's knock down drag outhealth care debate. a day of service is underway across the country starting with the first family. we'll talk with one of the organizers, the reverend al sharpton coming up next. happy monday, we're expect the doctors at university medical center in tucson

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